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tion and directing. Out of a more general public interest in this field of thought may come greater future toleration and support of the trained social worker.

My second suggestion takes me quite to the other side of the subject. I believe that, whatever may be true of metropolitan centers, the field outside is going to demand, not merely trained social workers, but educated social workers. To supply this field with workers who are merely trained will defeat our purpose. We shall make headway more safely and, in the long run, more rapidly, if we supply it with workers of good natural ability, educated sufficiently to take a leading part in the general life of the community and to think independently about their own professional problems in the new environment in which they must work. The trained worker who tries to apply metropolitan methods to outside communities without using constructive personal thought is very apt to fail and thereby to delay the movement to place social work on a true professional basis. I believe strongly in the most thorough training based on an adequate educational foundation. I believe also that for most kinds of social work this training can best be given in metropolitan centers where varied clinical opportunities are available. Under such an arrangement it becomes the responsibility of the training school in the metropolitan center to select for training, at least for the field outside, only persons with adequate natural ability and good general education. With this in mind, after six years of preparation for the step, we have placed our training work at Tulane University strictly upon a graduate basis, requiring a Bachelor's degree from a recognized college for registration in any course, and have also reserved specifically the right to deny admission to anyone who, in the opinion of the faculty, does not seem likely to become a successful professional social worker. An additional responsibility of the training school in the city is the recognition of the fact that the best of those it trains are needed for the outside field, where workers must think for themselves instead of consulting, and must also take a leading part in the work of social organization. To the extent that the city training school is interested in the promotion of social work as a profession, instead of merely serving local interests, it will recommend for positions outside only from the best half of its graduates, and will keep the poorer half at home where they may receive additional supervision.

One of the most influential factors in introducing the trained social worker throughout the country as a whole is the national social work agency. The policies of these agencies have differed considerably. Some have made it their practice to take local recruits and give them training by graded and progressive steps both at their homes and at training centers. Other national agencies have preferred to train all their workers at central training schools and even to shift workers frequently, so that loyalty to the central organization should not be come subordinate to local attachments. Some agencies encourage training that is broad and fundamental and will lead to confidence in one's own capacity to think about the problems that will arise in the field. Other agencies appear to wish to train merely the memory, and to discourage any initiative in their

workers. In recent years the national agency of the supervisory type has cut

across the path of the national agency of the operating type as well as that of the

local agency. Its demand for workers with training in the particular field in which it is interested is sometimes pressed at the expense of other interests that may be more vital to the community social work program. Sometimes the field agents of both types of national agencies appear to be chiefly interested in discouraging the growth of the influence of local social agencies, or councils of social agencies, or community chests, and in the promotion of the nationally centralized financing and supervision of social work. Sometimes a national agency that insists upon controlling the appointment of its local workers has not the courage to insist upon high standards of training in the face of pressure from influential local supporters who wish appointments for their friends. Sometimes national agencies make mistakes in their local appointments or in their nominations for local positions. These mistakes are often pardonable, but are sometimes due to very inadequate concern about the welfare of the local work in comparison with the interest in taking care of a worker that for some reason is out of a job. The writer, by connection with a few national agencies and by observation and correspondence in the cases of others, has gained a little information about their varied practices. It is such a large field, however, that he does not feel warranted in doing more than make the suggestions: first, that the nationally organized social agencies are likely to continue for some time to be the most important factors in securing the introduction of trained workers and in raising the standards of training; second, that an adequate study should be made of the policies and methods of national social work agencies of all types to reveal their practices with reference to the trained social worker and to determine how they may cooperate most effectively with each other and with local agencies and interests to advance the standards of social work.

By way of contrast, again we may turn from the national agency to its young and powerful local rival, the community chest. The remarkable growth of this method of financing social work has brought with it naturally a demand that the locality which pays the salary of the social worker shall have the chief voice in the selection. Many have feared that this voice would be that of certain big givers, and that the field of social work would be flooded with untrained local favorites whose appointments would be forced in this way. Discussions of this problem in previous conferences have apparently shown that the evil is less than under the older condition of unorganized local financing. More adequate salaries under the community chest plan have made possible the securing of better trained social workers, have also concentrated attention on the appointments, and given the opportunity for those who know what good work is to demand that good workers be secured. It is still important, however, to recognize that centralized local financing does not automatically secure well-trained workers. There is always the danger that the spoils idea may creep in. Only through the education of the public to a better understanding of the nature of construc

tive social work and the devotion of some persons in each locality to the job of seeing that only qualified workers are appointed by the social agencies can the danger be avoided. The community chest has made possible the securing of trained social workers, but in each community there must be some individuals who will make it certain.

In this connection the suggestion may well be made that some form of educational work along the lines of social work is the best guaranty in every locality that educated and trained social workers will be demanded and secured. Of course, one would not advocate the establishment of numerous and unnecessary schools of social work. Those cities in which schools do exist or in which they may properly be established ought to consider themselves favored, for a real educational center for social workers will inevitably have a constructive influence upon the social work of the community where it is located. But in many of the places, both urban and rural, where training schools are not practicable, it is nevertheless possible to organize some program for group study and discussion of the problems and processes of social work. In some way the trained professional social workers must get together for the continuation of their education by study and discussion. In some way also they must see that the public is reached by educational social work publicity, and that some definite organization is effected through which a considerable number of the people are constantly studying and discussing the social problems and social work of their community. Without effective organization for education along social work lines it is difficult for any community or its social workers to maintain or advance their standards. A proposition that will be regarded by many as being questionable is that social work as a profession should secure from government the licensing power to be used in establishing grades and a minimum standard in its field. This is not a new proposition, and is, to some extent, used in connection with civil service requirements in governmental social work. Has not the time come to establish the licensed or certificated social worker? In previous discussions of which I have heard the objection has been made that this would result in establishing minimum standards toward which the profession would be dragged down, and that we should rely rather upon our own professional association to establish standards that would be enforced by less formal social pressure. Possibly this view is correct, but the practice of other professions, such as law, medicine, teaching, and librarianship are in the line of legal certification. The general tendency is for social work to move over to support from public funds. With public support comes appointment by public authority, and unless definite certification is established through the efforts of social workers it will probably be established by politicians. My justification for mentioning this question here is that the licensing of social workers would at once educate the field outside with reference to the existence of a set of standards in social work, and probably preempt for trained social workers a large field that is rapidly being developed.

My final proposition with reference to the promotion of a demand for

trained social workers is this: social workers must themselves create the demand for their services. This can be done effectively only by giving the service that will convince people of its value. Of course we shall have to help many people to see the value. Most people will pay for service that will return them money profits; some will pay for service that improves their health; but scarcely anyone will pay for service that merely improves his character. Social workers see clearly, however, that character values are the greatest. It is a part of their job to help the general public to see the greater values. Fortunately, we have an opening in the fact that nearly everyone wishes to have his neighbor's character improved, and sometimes is even willing to pay for it.

The trained social worker has the double duty of demonstrating that social work is worth while and also that the trained worker is preferable to the untrained. As one primarily interested in promoting training for social work, I must confess that sometimes I have misgivings about some forms of professional social work with which I am not intimately acquainted. It sometimes seems that the specialists are chiefly concerned with the magnifying of trifles in procedure and in the restriction of the final output in service. How much more likely that this view should sometimes prevail among people who have had no special interest in any phase of the subject. It is certainly advisable for the trained social worker to keep in mind the fact that a critical public is watching both quantity and quality of output, and that their interest in quantity is more developed than their appreciation of quality. The trained social worker must do at least as much as the untrained, must give a better quality of service, and must educate the public to appreciate the better quality of service. If the social worker will do these things she will surely be in demand outside of metropolitan centers, and if she is very, very good she may, when she dies, if not before, be called to a metropolitan center.


Mary Clarke Burnett, Head of Department of Social Work,
Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh

The subject of recruiting bears an important relationship to the general topic of leadership. From the recruits of today presumably will come the leaders of tomorrow, and upon them will rest the responsibility, not alone of developing professional standards, but also of furnishing the element of statesmanship needed to chart the course of social work in the community wisely in the years to come.

How many of us know much about the composition of the group of new recruits coming into the profession at the present time? What brings them? What do they bring of training and personal equipment? What do they receive


in salary and in opportunity for further training? In an attempt to answer these questions in some fashion material has been secured from three sources: first, members of the Association of Schools for Professional Social Work (24 in number); second, social agencies, such as family societies, community chests, and social settlements; third, 134 new recruits themselves (persons who entered the social work profession in 1925-26). An effort has been made to secure representative data by including communities of different sizes, located in different parts of the country, and from agencies doing different kinds of work. It is not assumed, however, that anything in the nature of a "true sample" has been obtained. Results, if anything, probably represent an optimistic picture.

In analyzing the composition of the new recruit body as represented by the 134 replies received from such individuals we find that five out of the total were from men, and the data from schools of social work gives forty-one men as the total number graduating from sixteen schools in four years. Incidentally, of the new male recruits reporting, four were college graduates (one from a school of social work), while the fifth was recruited from business, with no academic or professional training.

As to type of community, of those who reported a job, 62 per cent were working in cities of over 200,000 and below 1,000,000, while 25 per cent were in larger cities; 13 per cent were in smaller communities or in county-wide work.

Of these people, 89 per cent were in case work agencies; 11 per cent, in recreation and settlement work; and 8 per cent (one individual), in research.

The question of the desirable age for a new recruit seems to be a perplexing one. Taking twenty-four as the dividing line, not quite half (46 per cent) of the new recruits fell below it, the rest (55 per cent) being twenty-four or older. A number of social agencies reported that they preferred not to employ persons for case work younger than twenty-five, though one settlement worker considered youth an asset. One family society secretary, while setting twenty-five as the desirable age, added: "Experience has shown, however, that if we do not take a promising girl immediately upon her graduation from college, we are not likely to get her at all, for she will go into some other profession and become established." Several people gave forty as the upper limit beyond which a new recruit was not sufficiently adaptable to make a satisfactory worker, and nine of our new recruits have reached this dead line.

What has been the previous experience of these older people who form a little more than half our group? Only nine reported no occupation prior to entering their first positions in social work. Of the remaining sixty-four persons, the largest percentage (39 per cent) reported 1 to 5 years' previous experience, while 22 per cent had worked for 1 year or less, 25 per cent, from 6 to 10 years, and II per cent, from 10 to 20 years. Two individuals (3 per cent) have a record of more than 20 years.

Teaching, which leads all other occupations, was reported in 63 per cent of the cases; clerical and secretarial positions, in 40 per cent; while the fields of

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